Why is the Middle East and North Africa in turmoil?

Sean O'Grady

109313747 300x200 Why is the Middle East and North Africa in turmoil?Despotism is one obvious cause; the economy is the other part of the answer. Yet Libya will grow by 6.2 per cent this year, enjoy inflation at 3.5 per cent and have a 20 per cent (of GDP trade surplus), all superior to the UK. The other economies are growing rapidly too; Bahrain by 4.5 per cent; Morocco by 4.3 per cent, Tunisia by  4.8;   Egypt will manage  5.5 per cent. In Britain we will struggle to 2 per cent. Such figures show the potential of the region.

The problem is that such growth is unable to keep pace with the aspirations of a rapidly expanding, young population, and everyone – from the bosses at the IMF  to the average unemployed  graduate lobbing rocks in Rabat – knows it. These nations could do so much better. With abundant labour, situated at the crossroads of Asia and Europe,  and from a low cost base they could export and grow as fast as China or Indonesia. Or, more to the point, Turkey, the country that shows what  can be achieved. Imagine an Eu with a free, dynamic Libya a key member. A dream…

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  • ricardo lion

    I don’t see how the 5 million Jews in Israel can dictate the lives of the 360 million Arabs.
    I think their problems are related to their religion, the one of peace, you know. Are you going to blame little Israel for their civil wars, their bloody dictators and feudal kings, the hanging of gays, stoning of women, “honour” killing of girls, etc?

  • Jeremy G Hunter

    How could Libya be in the EU? Technically speaking.

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